European champion Italy and World’s number four Hungary already took the second victory in the new-look qualification round of the FINA Women’s World League. Hungary was playing the reigning World champion Greece in Eger, Hungary and gained a 10-8 victory. Italy faced Russia at Catania, Italy to beat the 2008 winner on penalties, 16-15, after a 9-9 tie in regulation. Action will continue 6 February in Athens, Greece and Kirishi, Russia.
The reigning World Champion Greece started strong in their first match of the new campaign, taking a 3-2 lead in the opening period, but Hungary looked back only once in this match. At the score of 7-7 in the third period the home team had a 3-0 run to bring the score to 10-7 and went on to earn their second victory in the second match. Rita Keszthelyi scored four goals for her team.
Only one week after the shocking 11-15 loss of the local heroes of Orizzonte Catania to the new Russian powerhouse Shturm 2002 Ruza in the LEN Trophy quarter-finals, now the Setterosa took revenge in the clash of two national teams. But it was a close match, ending with a 9-9 tie. In the penalty shoot-out both goalkeepers saved two balls each, and in the ninth round the shot of Russia’s Yulia Ivanova hit the crossbar.
The remaining four rounds of the European qualifiers are scheduled for 6 February (round 3), 8-9 February (round 4), 13 March (round 5) and 16 March (last round). FINA also announced that the Asia/Oceania tournament of the qualifiers will kick off on 9 May in Auckland, New Zealand. The qualification tournament of the Americas is starting on 24 May to be contested in the USA. A hosting city has not been announced so far. This year’s Super Final will be held 3-8 June in Beijing, China.
FINA Women’s World League 2013
Preliminary Round Group A – day 2 in Eger, Hungary
Hungary vs. Greece 10-8 (2-3, 4-2, 2-2, 2-1)
Hungary: Rina Keszthelyi 4, Barbara Bujka 2, Orsolya Takacs 1, Ildikó Toth 1, Dora Antal 1, Ibolya Kitti Miskolczi 1.
Greece: Christina Tsoukala 3, Alkisti Avramidou 2, Eleftheria Plevritou 1, Alexandra Asimaki, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki 1.
Preliminary Round Group B – day 2 in Catania, Italy
Italy vs. Russia 16-15 (5-1, 1-3, 1-5, 2-0 – penalties: 7-6)
Italy: Gigli – Pomeri, Garibotti, Radicchi 1, Savioli, Aiello, Di Mario 1/1, Bianconi 2 (1/1, Emmolo 1, Palmieri 1, Cotti 1, Frassinetti 2, Gorlero.
Head coach: Conti.
Russia: Akobiya – Diana Antonova, Prokofyeva 1, Karimova, Iarondaykina, Belova 1, Lisunova 4/1, Khokhriakova 1, Tankeeva, Beliaeva 1, Ivanova 1, Alexandra Antonova, Karnaukh.
Head coach: Nakoryakov.
Penalty shoot-out: Di Mario goal; Belova goal; Pomeri goal; Lisunova goal; Emmolo blocked; Khokhriakova blocked; Bianconi goal; Ivanova goal; Garibotti goal; Beliaeva goal; Di Mario blocked; Belova blocked; Pomeri goal; Lisunova goal; Emmolo goal; Khokhriakova goal; Bianconi goal; Ivanova crossbar.
Referees: Birri (HUN)/Fernandez (ESP)
Man-up: Italy 3/9 + 2/1, Russia 0/3 + 1/1
Progress points after day 2
Group A: Hungary 6, Greece 0 (1 match), Spain 0 (1)
Group B: Italy 5, Russia 2 (1), Netherlands 0 (1)
Pictured: Barbara Bujka scored twice in the second World League victory of the Hungarian team. Photograph by Henk Swinkels